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What is the biggest reason doctors are sued?

Some people put their lives into their physicians' hands when they visit a hospital or medical office. In some instances, though, these medical professionals don't live up to their expectations. When a doctor or medical staff acts negligently and causes a person to be injured, the injured party may file a lawsuit to recover compensation. North Carolina residents may want to know, however, that it's not surgical errors or even prescription mistakes that make up the majority of lawsuits. It's failure to diagnose.

Failure to diagnose occurs when a doctor doesn't accurately diagnose an illness or condition even when there was evidence that such a condition was present. One study discovered that anywhere from 26 to 63 percent of all malpractice claims were caused by a doctor's failure to diagnose. This information was garnered from medical malpractice claims that had been filed in four separate countries.

Researchers also looked into which diseases were the most frequently misdiagnosed. Children were most often suffering meningitis when a failure to diagnose occurred. For adults, unnoticed heart attacks and cancer were the most common. Lung cancer, melanoma and cancers of the colon and breast were the most frequent cancer misdiagnoses. The most common result of this particular medical mistake was death.

Medical malpractice can lead to very serious injuries can even result in death. There is a variety of errors that a doctor can make, but failing to diagnose is the most frequent. If a person suffers an injury or loses a loved one due to a medical professional's mistake, they may be able to secure fair compensation with legal assistance.

Source: LiveScience , "Failure to Diagnose Is No. 1 Reason for Suing Doctors", Rachael Rettner, October 30, 2014

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